OK, before you get all over me about being in the "real" world, just give me a minute to explain ;-)

I bought a set of plans for the Joli boat from Philip Thiel. Unfortunately, this is not the right "season" in my life to really start building a boat. So, should I just wait and dream, or should I make some kind of forward progress?

My intent here is to keep a journal of my progress. I'll be using Google Sketchup to build my virtual boat. I'm sure that along the way I'll run across problems that need solving, trouble keeping on task, and moments of inspiration.

I'll include pictures and video as I progress. Click on any picture if you'd like to see it larger.

Maybe I'm crazy, but follow along and see what you think

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let Me Introduce You

To the Joli that is. I can’t say for sure when I first ran across the designs by Philip Thiel, but it was nearly “love at first sight”.

The Escargot is probably the more famous of Philip’s designs. It was fantastic to run across Bryan Lowe’s online journal of his build experience. He is open and honest throughout the process of creating an Escargot boat from a pile of wooden sticks.

Unfortunately, there is very little information on the web about Mr. Thiel’s designs. There is discussion that there may be about 7 of these boats that have actually been built.

The Joli is a slightly larger version, (roughly 23’), of the Escargot with standing headroom below decks. This design has 2 single bunks forward, a double bunk aft, and a dinette in the center that could sleep 2.

I bought a set of Joli plans from Mr. Thiel in June of 2008. He’s been very responsive via snail mail, answering questions and providing additional information. Relying on the post office may seem a little outdated in the 21st century, but this is what works for him.

Philip’s newest design, (2008), is the Friend-Ship. This boat is roughly the same design as the Joli with a cover over the cockpit and helm.

Philip can be reached at the following address:

Philip Thiel

Sea/Land Design

4720 Seventh Ave. NE

Seattle, WA  98105


  1. You know, I kind of like the Friendship. Once you make contact with Phil he is pretty good about sending you some of his ideas, and he sent me a one sheet on this design. I think it's worth considering!

  2. I would agree. I'm considering a small removable cover for the cockpit in my Joli.